A Perennial Modern Classics reissue of this unflinching examination of post-War French intellectual life, and an amazing chronicle of love, philosophy and politics from one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. An epic romance of dizzying scope, a philosophical argument of profound dimensions and an honest and searing portrayal of what it means to be a woman, this is Simone de Beauvoir's most famous and profound novel. De Beauvoir sketches the volatile intellectual and political climate of post-War France with amazing deftness and insight, peopling her story with fictionalisations of the most important figures of the era, such as Camus, Satre and Nelson Algren. Her novel examines the painful split between public and private life that characterised the female experience in the mid-20th century and addresses the most difficult questions of gender and choice. It is an astonishing work of intellectual athleticism, yet also a moving romance, a love story of passion and depth. Long out of print, this masterpiece is now reissued as part of the Perennial Modern Classics series so that a whole new generation can discover de Beauvoir's magic.
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'A remarkable novel.' Sunday Times 'A dazzling panorama of the giants of the Left Bank.' New Statesman 'The characters, especially the women, are uninhibited and sometimes predatory. The dialogues are salty, frank and realistic. The characters' amorous adventures are set down with microscopic exactitude.' Guardian 'There are few, a very few, novels from which one comes away with the feeling of having travelled, experienced, learned... such a book is The Mandarins.' BookmanFrom the Back Cover:
In wartime Paris, a group of friends gather to celebrate the end of the German occupation and to plan their future. Henri, ex-Resistance fighter, is eager to resume his wife, to travel and to write a novel; Paula is convinced that she can revive her dying affair with Henri. Robert, a writer, is determined to enter politics whilst his psychiatrist wife, Anne, is deeply distracted by an affair with a young American; their daughter, Nadine feels only bitterness and disillusionment after the killing of her lover by the Germans.
Winner of the Prix Goncourt, 'The Mandarins' captures the dizzying sense of promise felt throughout France after liberation. Herself a central figure in the cultural life of the Left Bank, de Beauvoir punctuates the novel with wickedly accurate portraits of the intellectual giants of the time, including Sartre and Camus.
“A remarkable book, a novel on the grand scale, courageous in its exactitude and endearing because of its persistent seriousness.”
IRIS MURDOCH, 'Sunday Times'
“Simone de Beauvoir has given us a magnificent map of the mental terrain of French intellectualism. 'The Mandarins' is a window on the world through which we see and recognise not just the facts of a situation but the truth about it. Moving and engrossing.”
NEW YORK TIMES
“An extremely important novel, 'The Mandarins' gives us a brilliant survey of the post-war French intellectual. Its sweep, its variety, its accuracy and its objectivity combine to present a dazzling panorama.”
“In 'The Mandarins' the characters, especially the women, are uninhibited and sometimes predatory, the dialogues salty, frank and realistic. Their amorous adventures are set down with microscopic exactitude.”
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